Smile Politely

A hearty portion of pork loin with mustardy cream sauce and kale

I’m bucking the trend. Here is a simple, quick, complete meal. Start with a few simple whole ingredients and 35-40 minutes later people will be telling you to open a restaurant. You’ll smile appreciatively, they’ll say, “No really, I’m serious! You’ll say, “You’re twelve years old, running a restaurant is awesome for exactly two hours, plus you’d never see me again!” (or so I tell myself to keep from doing it). Anyhow, people will be happy, just don’t quit your day job based on the success of this one recipe.

I tried to “Localize” this article up by getting meat from Stan at Triple S. But without the routine of the Farmers Market to keep me focused I’ve been buying much of my ingredients from grocery stores and the like. I know it’s never too cold to care, but its close… Anyhow, Stan and I were on the phone trying to coordinate times Tuesday night but the storm threw a monkey wrench into the whole idea.

Here’s what you’ll need for four:

  • 1 Manhattan (optional, though if your lovely partner is doing the mixing how can you refuse?)

Pork Loin

  • 1 Whole Pork Loin (I’ll do beef next time, promise)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter

Mustard Cream Sauce

  • 8oz Whole Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard
  • 4oz Marsala (or Dry Vermouth or White Wine)


  • 5-6 Potatoes (Peeled, cut into 8 spears each)
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • ½ Cup Milk (or more Cream if you have a thing for fat)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt + Pepper


  • 1 Bunch Kale, Stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper (but don’t actually pinch you know, its hot!)
  • Salt

Here’s the order I follow to make sure everything is ready at the same time:

1) Boil the Potatoes – Start a pot of water to boil over high heat for the potatoes. Peel and slice the potatoes, adding them carefully to the water as they’re done.

2) Prepare the Pork – Slice the loin into equal size medallions. Dust each piece in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Heat your oven to 250, place a empty covered casserole dish in to warm. In a large frying pan heat olive oil and 1 T. of butter or medium/high heat.

3) Cook the Pork – Once the butter has foamed and then quieted back down place half the pork medallions in the pan (don’t get cheeky and dump them all in a once, the pork won’t brown, you’ll end up under or overcooking the meat, and your pan won’t be in good shape for the sauce) While the first batch is cooking start on step four, but don’t forget about the pork! You’ll need about 5-8 minutes a side. As each batch finished place them in your preheated pan in the oven to keep warm.

4) Sauté the Kale – Rough chop the Kale and Garlic. Heat 1-2 T. of Olive Oil in another large frying pan. (it’s getting a little crowded I know, but you’re going to look like a pro…) Add the Kale, Garlic, lots of salt (1-2 teaspoons kosher) and crushed red pepper. Stir like mad over high heat for a few minutes until the kale is good a coated, then you can reduce the heat and almost ignore it until everything else is ready.

5) Mash those potatoes – Drain the potatoes, place back in pan, mash. Add butter, stir. Add sour cream, stir. Add milk and some salt, stir. Taste and tweak.

6) Make the cream sauce – Your pork should all be done, and your pan should be a royal mess. Don’t dare drain or clean or spoil it in any way, just put it back on stove over high heat. Pour your Masala in the hot pan, stirring and scrapping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan until most of the alcohol has evaporated. Add the cream and mustard, stir and simmer for 5-10 more minutes while you get everything ready.

7) Plating – Portion out the potatoes (in the middle) and the kale. (off to one side) Remove the pork from the oven, pour and juices into the cream sauce, set the pork over the potatoes. Give the cream sauce a final stir and spoon over the pork. Enjoy!

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